Reports have it that South African nurses are fleeing the country en mass, taking their skills to countries like United States, UK, Canada and the United Arab Emirates where they are better paid with sweeter working conditions.
Based on a Pretoria News report, South Africa’s healthcare sector is in trouble, and have found itself in deep crisis following the mass of medical practitioners who have abandoned the South African sector for those of other countries with a larger pay check and sophisticated working environs.
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Confirming this, Simon Sibunga – a Pretoria nurse commented that “the recruitment of nurses by foreign agents has been successfully attracting colleagues for over 15 years now, and many have taken the opportunity and left the country.”
Similarly, another nurse from Dr George Mukhari Hospital, who pleaded to remain anonymous identified some of the reasons for the nurse exodus. According to her, her kinds suffer “badly from working in situations of inadequate equipment and compromised facilities. We have no drugs at the best of times… it is all extremely difficult…We also often work with unqualified nurses, and the workload falls on to the shoulders of a few…Our managers seem reluctant, or unable, to improve our situations. While more of us would leave if we could, we are stuck because of families who need us.”
You’ll recall that the Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, during his address to the parliamentary health portfolio committee last year, stated that his ministry is working hard to stop medical practitioners from leaving the country. According to Motsoaledi, developed nations are offering our healthcare people “greener pastures” that South Africa cannot compete with.
Referring to the above, a former senior official of the national Health Department lamented that “the problems had not changed since and had instead got worse with the increased cost of living and the shrinking economy, and the extremely high burden of disease.Nurses suffered trauma and stress, because of the excessive workload and little intervention.
Because of the shortages of staff across the board, we play porter, cleaner and do our own sluicing, and in-between that we must also care for patients.”
As explained, these nations are after our healthcare people for some reasons. First, a good number of them are well skilled because of South Africa’s quality training, they are better nurtured to handle difficult scenarios as enabled by South Africa’s high burden of diseases, they are fluent in English, and in all, are massively effective when they are introduced to a healthcare system with improved facilities and decent working conditions.
Filing this report, iol listed the under-listed as the reasons our nurses are abandoning South Africa.
- Long queues in hospitals and clinics and a compromised health care system.
- The loss of life due to the lack of equipment to save patients.
- Unqualified staff being produced by the many bogus nursing schools.
- Exploitation of workers.
- Inadequate training which exposes patients to danger.
- Bogus doctors who put their jobs under threat.
- Infrastructural issues, shortages of water and electricity.
- Lack of ambulances and paramedics and failure by provincial and national health departments to step in and make changes.